Championships - Qualification Only Event?

Theoretically if every state had a championship you would end up with 300 teams with the current 6 qualifying from each state (assuming no overlap in qualifying awards). Team distribution means this isn’t a great method anytime soon and there will need to be a way to handle international teams (Canada is 3 or 4 additional regions?) but when FIRST eventually gets their district system in place everywhere it still allows for a Championship event similar to the current one.

I would look at how FTC currently works to get an idea of how FRC qualifying may eventually be handled. Depending on the number of slots given to a state it’s not enough to win your state championship, you have to be the alliance captain of the winning alliance to get the invitation.

How is FLL done?

That’s why they call it Champs.

I firmly believe every student in FRC should attend The Championship Event at least once in their FIRST career. It’s something nobody would ever forget.

“Attend” - Absolutely, every student should get to see it. “Compete in” - only if you earn the privilage. It would otherwise be meaningless.

I agree that eliminating the championship eligblity of the EI award would focus more to the competition. I just wanted to address the hypothetical situation of a EI award winner with a sub-par robot. I think that there are better ideas than this one. The EI award does have many merits that warrants its celebration.

The rookie all-star on the other hand is a strictly on the field performance award. With it going to the highest ranked rookie, it takes no input of the teams off the field actions. There scenarios where I could see a really good rookie team should go to the championships, especially considering what happened in San Diego (really cool by the way). However, in the case where a rookie team merely seeds higher than the other rookies and seeds poorly relative to the rest of the field, I feel there are more deserving teams that should go to the championships.

The Rookie All-Star award is actually more like a Chairman’s or Engineering Inspiration award than you described. From what I understand, it does not really have anything to do with robot performance.

You are right. I should have checked the first website. I have mistaken the rookie all star for the highest rookie seed.

I going to do a 180 and advocate to NOT remove the championship eligibility for the awards.

The change over to super-regionals/state competitions feels inevitable, but I feel like an extended discussion of this would be very good after this competition season wraps up.

For now, I’ll touch on some of my ideas.

Since CMP slots are in such high demand, they should be distributed more evenly geographically. There are around 360 spots every year for what is now over 2300 teams. Only the 14% of teams not already in because of long-term pre-eligibility (HoF, Originals, Major Winners from prior year) get a spot. That means unless your team has merit or luck, students will graduate without going to CMP now (you’re reading something from one of those who is at-risk for the moment).

I don’t think the field orientations and the sheer number of required pits will provide for the addition of another division, at least through next year. St. Louis maps looked pretty packed to me (but I wasn’t there).
I’ve had trouble determining exactly who controls the MAR/FiM event structure, the traditional structure, and CMP. For the sake of my plan, I’m saying that regional boards run not-CMP as authorized by FRC, while FRC conducts CMP.

For CMP, FIRST gets to take a bite out of the pool of slots before the regional boards: legacy teams, hall of fame teams, and last year’s major winners are all going through these FIRST HQ owned slots. FIRST, in this scenario, would not leave at-large CMP bids out on TIMS all willy-nilly for one with fast data speeds.fingers to grab. That’s important, and necessary.

Then FIRST HQ would distribute the slots to these remaining 326 (and shrinking because of HoF) regional boards to use at their discretion, with a few exceptions (i.e. the six traditional blue banner awards given at competition must be in your slots, unless FRC demotes RAS and eliminates RIA). It’s like good, old-fashioned apportionment in governing bodies. So MAR, who has 100 teams this year (right?) would have 8 spots to work with however they wished after the 6 Blue Banner awards got their bids. They could give them to the next 8 teams in the rankings. They could send more RCAs or EIs or RASs. They could let teams register for the slots like we do now, or they could institute some sort of lottery a team is drafted into after their 3rd year away from CMP. Michigan would have 21 slots to distribute after the six BBAs. However, if 51 won MSC or 103 won MAR or 16 won GKC, they wouldn’t be sucking away a spot from their competition and giving it to another random team. It would go to a team that performed very well over the year and earned a spot not needed by a team slightly stronger than them.

The goal of this is to encourage a wide range of talented teams from across the country. I don’t have a real beef with teams that have superior preparation winning competitions they deserve, but if you already earned a spot at CMP, we should be giving the one you don’t need to a team that fell a little short of winning the competition on the field, not the competition of registering in TIMS.

When we move over to this oncoming system, it will likely never be a 100% thing. I can see California keeping LAR and New York City keeping their events because international teams would get solid rates from flying into those cities. Those areas are also full of great nearby teams that could enter their robot in if they wanted to. Israel and Hawaii aren’t moving over to districts either. Yet the change to district system is necessary, inevitable, and important. Just think, we would be composed of 20 or so massive gatherings of strong teams.

Also, realize that this inability to cross regional lines to take spots from teams in that region are mostly gone, with the exception of a few traditional events. Even the Mid Eastern Atlantic Conference gets as many guaranteed bids into the NCAA tournament as the Big East. I know that region x and y are far superior to region z an it’s harder to get in if you’re in those regions, but hey: build a better team so you can build a better robot and improve your area, or increase the number of teams in your area and benefit your region by adding slots and spreading FIRST.

These are very, very rough ideas, and I actually have been working on developing my thoughts on this to discuss after the season is over with and my mind has calmed just a bit.

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Slightly related topic. I was talking with Bill Miller at the CT regional for quite a while yesterday and we were discussing the number of teams that actually go to champs after qualifying is historically 60% but this year is approaching 80%. They were trying to figure out the driver, if it was the BEP show last year making it a can’t miss event. My theory is St Louis is better driving distance than ATL for many teams making the trip cheaper and easier to pull off for most teams.

There are a number of tournaments (regional, state, provincial, country, whatever) that are designated as World Festival (it’s not a championship) qualifiers. Every year they randomly pick some number (around 70-80) that will be eligible for sending the Champion’s Award winner to the WF. I believe it’s only a semi-random selection; they try to get every eligible tournament a slot in the WF every few years.

Note that in FLL the team coming to the WF is not necessarily the winner of the robot game. Here’s the description of the Champion’s Award: “This award recognizes a team that embodies the FLL experience, by fully embracing our Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project.”

It’s important to note that this helps avoid turning FLL into a robotics competition. Which none of the FIRST programs should be.

I don’t see anything wrong with EI or RCA winners who have sub-par robots. If we only allow great robots to go to the Championship Event we turn FRC into a robotics competition (my same concern with FLL, and with JFLL & FTC if I were involved in them, too).

Besides, what defines “sub-par” and “great”? Is the rookie team we drafted in STL last week sub-par because it couldn’t pick up or shoot balls and was seeded in the lower half? Even though they have a solid drive train & a decent ramp manipulator I don’t think they’ll get picked as-is for eliminations in any CE division. But they have plans on finishing the ball manipulator & shooter that they didn’t have time to finish before the STL regional & take it to the CE. I’m interested in seeing what they come up with; they could easily turn into an even better opponent-side robot than they were in STL.

The year we won a RCA & went to the CE (Lunacy) we had a very nice robot. Solidly-built, good-looking, and designed around a great idea – that the Super Cells would be very important and that it would take a long time to move the Empty Cells from the outpost over to the corners. Our catapult could launch them all the way, without moving away from the hole in the outpost wall. We made eliminations in both regionals we attended, but our strategy was just too easy to disrupt, and that showed up in Archimedes. We based the robot on a premise that turned out not to be the case. I have no idea if we were sub-par, great, or what. I do know we weren’t competitive at the CE level. But the design was good enough that we had inquiries this year from teams interested in our catapult.

I think PayneTrain has some good ideas, but I don’t think we have a complete system yet. I’m not sure how the “6 blue banner awards” don’t include RCAs, EIs, and RASs, so where the “…send more RCAs or EIs or RASs.” would come from confuses me. So I’m interested in what was meant. I do like the idea of more Districts & using a point system that, for example, allows robots that deserve to go but got eliminated in the QFs to qualify for the CE. We just need to find a way to allow teams that almost got RCA or EI to potentially qualify.

Whatever method that ends up being used to select teams for the CE needs to continue to take into account that the word “robot” doesn’t appear anywhere in FIRST or in the FIRST mission statement. I think it’s very easy to get too caught up in the robot part of any of the programs (I know I slip there from time to time) but we need to keep in mind that the robot are the means, not the end.

The 20 or so regional boards have to send those six representatives to CMP. However, if the region chooses to send more RCAs, EIs, or RASs as their representatives after their prescribed six, that’s their choice. I’m not saying Michigan could use their remaining 21 spots for RCA representatives, but they could put a heavier focus on using their bids for those awards than sending high-ranked teams or lottery bids.

Like I said, having to deal with a system that involves getting the best possible showing of 360 out of 2341 teams is not something you can cobble together in an hour. I’m sure (hoping) that HQ has been trying to iron out a solution for CMP since they picked up their toys in Atlanta and moved out west, and realized “Hey, when did this program, like, double?”

Ah, now I get what you were saying. I was thinking that the district events would have been called the “District Chairman’s Award”, but I just looked and found I was wrong. Sorry about my confusion. :frowning:

Is there a list of Hall of Fame and “legacy” teams that are invited to Champs? My presumption is that if one of them should qualify by other means, it will release a spot to the standby list. Am I correct?

Legacy and HOF (Championshp Chairman’s winners) are listed in the chart. Double qualifying does indeed open up spots in most cases.

Why, yes, yes, and yes.

HoF and Legacy teams, as noted at, are as follows:

HoF: 16, 51, 67, 103, 111, 120, 151, 175, 191, 236, 254, 341, 365, 842, 359.
Legacy: 20, 45, 126, 148, 151, 190, 191.
Note: 151 and 191 are on both lists.

If one of those teams gets multiple slots, then one or more of those slots would open up to the waitlist. Ditto if someone gets multiple merit-based qualifications in one year (or is the winner of a Championship or EI at the Championship level the previous year).

Thank you Eric and Gray. Now I have to wrestle with my browser to find out why it denied me my bookmark for that page. I was sure I had seen it before. Apparently, I suffer from a sort of disjoint logic when it comes to navigating the FRC site. Blankety-blank browser isn’t helping.

I compete in Ironman triathlons. The founders of the original Ironman race established a permanant rule to keep about 10% of the World Championship slots open for “everyday” athletes who may never be able to qualify based on finish times. These slots are filled via lottery drawings from all athletes who apply for a slot. The idea is that everyone has the chance to attend, participate or compete. I hope that FIRST continues as is or establishes a similar process to allow all teams the opportunity to compete in the championship event. There are many forms of Inspiration. Perhaps one of these “everyday” teams takes the time to attend a great presentation at the conference. They take that knowledge to build an amazing team next year and inspire their students to pursue advanced education in science or technology. Should that team have been excluded because they didn’t have good luck in the match pairing algorithm at their only regional event? This competition is not only about building a great robot.

I thought the “tiered” registration scheme of a few years ago was reasonable, with the issue of too few slots handled by lottery instead of by quickness to click during the first few minutes of open registration.

I had the (crazy?) idea that I would like to see a team listing each having a qualification “reason” for being at the championships. Digestion of the spectacular scouting information compiled by 1114 has me now scratching my head about the numbers of teams that are attending by merit-based rules versus those that are going because they signed up in open registration as veterans. It just looks like there are a lot more of them than I would have supposed.

Would anyone hazard a guess as to what the proportion is, approximately? I just want to compare my results to an external guesstimate to see if I’m even in the right “dome” so to speak.

Since I didn’t see the data posted in this thread and I can’t find the last thread with this data, here it is.

This year, there are a maximum of 366 merit-based positions (24 for past Chairman’s Awards winners, original teams, last world champs and last EIA; 312 for all 52 Regionals [6 per]; 30 for FiM & MAR) to fill 400 total spots. Only 257 (+/-5) of these 366 spots were filled (meaning 109 merit-based slots were either filled by already qualifying teams or chose not to attend), resulting in a total of 143 (+/-5) buy-ins.

To recap:
366/400 merit-based spots
257/366 filled
143/400 buy-ins

If there were more events, or more ways to qualify, there’d be less buy-ins. But with the way FIRST has been growing, before long this won’t be an issue. Then we’ll have to figure out how to reduce the number of merit-based teams who qualify or increase the size of the Championship beyond 400 (I predict this will occur within the next 10 years).

Did I miss anything?

I think they should make an IRI-like event after champs where the top 8 alliances of each division are invited to play. The top 96 teams of the world, battling it out in the standard competition style.

Then keep the championships open the way they are.